I’m sure that nobody likes to have their trust betrayed. But that’s just what happened last month to tens of thousands of Alberta’s citizens. On a bleak afternoon in December, Wildrose leader Danielle smith and eight other members of the Legislature of Alberta crossed over to the Progressive Conservative Party which they once fought.
About seven years ago, disaffected members of the Progressive Conservative party decided to unite with the Alliance party to form the Wildrose Alliance Party. The PCs had been in power for thirty-seven years. As with all politicians who have ruled for so long, the members felt entitled to lavish salaries and extravagant perks. The Wildrose members felt this waste had gone on for too long. In the 2008 provincial election, they managed to gain two seats in Alberta’s Legislature.
During the next four years, Wildrose rapidly gained the support of grassroots volunteers. Constituency Associations formed to the point where there were candidates running in all eighty-seven ridings.
Much of the support for the party was garnered by Danielle Smith. Her articulate explanation of policy and her determination to balance the budget without burdening taxpayers appealed to many Albertans, particularly in rural areas. Pollsters felt so confident that they predicted Wildrose would win the upcoming election in April of 2012. During the final days of campaigning, the PCs dug up dirt on two candidates and made it look like the whole party was homophobic and extremist. That stampeded voters to vote in the PCs again.
Danielle Smith decided to moderate the social stance of the party by affirming homosexuals. She even walked in Edmonton’s pride parade that June. The party membership were told that this was just a way to gain acceptability among the majority of Albertans and that it had nothing to do with the goal of ridding Alberta of fiscally irresponsible government policies.
The party faithful, including me, worked hard to promote Wildrose. People knocked on doors, held events, and campaigned for their riding candidates. By 2014, Wildrose had matured into a powerful opposition party.
Then the unthinkable happened. On December the seventeenth, Danielle Smith announced at a press conference that she and eight other legislature members were “rejoining” the PC party. She said that most of the fiscal policies which Wildrose proposed were being enacted by the government and that we, meaning Wildrose, won.
The defection gutted the party and hurt its credibility. People who had supported it, including myself, felt as if we’d been kicked in the butt by these nine defectors. Whatever happens in the coming years, the trust of Albertans will be difficult to win back.
Spiritual betrayals are just as painfully devastating to the faithful, as I described in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Check this amazing story of God’s providential guidance at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s Books.